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Uncle Lightnin'

Searching for Ted "The Cowboy" Eisenhower

(Snakedoctor; US: 11 Oct 2012; UK: 11 Oct 2012)

Mixed bag of country-blues-rock

Uncle Lightnin’ are a hard-driving five-piece that run the gamut from guitar-heavy blues rock to oh-lonesome-me country to toe-tapping boogie-woogie to downtempo introspection. In general, the upbeat numbers work better, as on harmonica-screeching opener “Hollywood Blues” and the irresistible “My Sweet Girl”, not to mention “Police Can’t Find Me Now” with is strong echoes of ZZ Top’s “Lagrange”. Some slower songs do well too, particularly the gospel-feedback stomp of “Judas”. With sixteen songs, the album suffers from inevitable bloat toward the back third, and any number of tunes here aren’t quite as clever as the band seems to think they are (I’m looking at you, “Designated Non-Driver”). A leaner album would have been a stronger one, but even so, there are plenty of moments here to enjoy for those inclined toward the country-blues-roots end of the musical spectrum.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Uncle Lightnin' - Judas
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